On Wednesday, Dec. 26, Guilford County Sherriff Danny Rogers provided more details regarding the Christmas Eve death of an inmate in the Guilford County jail in downtown Greensboro. Calvin Graham, a 56-year-old inmate being held in the jail, collapsed and died in the late afternoon.
Graham was arrested for assault on a female on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 and was scheduled for his next court appearance on Thursday, Jan. 17.
According to a statement from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department sent out on Christmas Day, on Christmas Eve Graham was being treated by medical staff at the jail for “breathing issues” when he collapsed. Medical staff and detention officers in the jail, according to that statement, “immediately began CPR and requested assistance from emergency medical responders.
Rogers said that, shortly before the incident, he and one of his officers had conducted a walk-through of the jail in Greensboro. Rogers said that he noticed nothing unusual at that time. He said he doesn’t know if he passed by Graham during that walk-through but he added there was certainly no indication of any problems and no inmates complained to him about their health or other issues.
He also said there was no special event or change of routine for the inmates in the Greensboro jail due to it being Christmas Eve and he didn’t witness anything else out of the ordinary going on.
“We didn’t do anything differently,” Rogers said of Christmas Eve in the jail.
Rogers said that, soon after the walk-through, he was still in Greensboro when he got the news of Graham’s collapse.
About an hour after the incident began, Graham was declared dead at Moses H. Cone Hospital.
Rogers said the department notified Graham’s mother in Raeford, NC.
She got the word on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day about the death of her son. The Sherriff’s Department sent out its public statement Christmas afternoon.
As for the exact cause of death, Rogers said, he’s waiting for the medical reports.
“We don’t know the cause,” he said. “I’m not a doctor.”
He added that he knew that, even though it was Christmas, it was important to get the word out to the public, which is why, he said, the department sent a statement out Christmas afternoon.
“We know transparency is important,” Rogers said.
The sheriff added that he is reviewing the jail’s response and making sure the jail is adequately staffed for any medical emergencies that may arise.
“We will continue to look at what we need,” Rogers said.
As for the findings of death, he said he’s not sure when that report will be complete.
“This is new to me so I don’t know how long it will take,” said Rogers, who was sworn in as sheriff on Monday, Dec. 3.
According to Guilford County Emergency Services Director Jim Albright, the 911 call was received 4:16:58 p.m. and a response unit was dispatched exactly one minute later. That unit arrived at 4:20:39 p.m. or slightly less than four minutes after receiving the call.
Albright stated that the jail is in the “Base 1 District” meaning that the unit would normally have been dispatched from 1339 Headquarters Dr. in Greensboro – near East Lindsay Street and East Bessemer Avenue – however, in this case, a unit had just cleared a call south of downtown Greensboro and was available to respond.
“The ambulances are moving through the system constantly, and we dispatch the closest unit,” Albright wrote in an email. “We have GPS on the units and dispatch based on location and priority of the call.”
Like Rogers, Albright said the information about Graham’s medical care is privileged and protected.